If you are considering a career as a phlebotomist, here’s what you need to know about phlebotomy training.
Before you can enroll in a program, you must have:
- A high school diploma or GED. This ensures every student understands reading, writing, and basic math.
- The ability to use a computer. Basic computer knowledge is important for completing coursework.
- A good understanding of English. All phlebotomy programs in the United States require students to speak fluent English because all coursework is in English as well as most phlebotomists will work with English-speaking patients.
- CPR certification. Some programs provide students with CPR training as part of the curriculum, but most expect students to have certification before the first day of class.
Along with the prerequisite requirements, students also need to meet the following conditions:
Pay an application fee. Almost all phlebotomy programs require an application fee that typically costs between $25 and $100. This is to cover the cost of reviewing the application.
Medical insurance. Applicants must have medical insurance that’s in effect during their internship.
Proof of residency. This is to prove you can legally study and work in the United States.
Background check and drug screen. Most programs require applicants to submit to both a background check and drug screen.
Vaccinations. Phlebotomy programs require students to show proof of the following vaccinations: Measles-Mumps-Rubella, Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis, Hepatitis B, and Tuberculosis.
How to Determine a Program’s Quality
A quality program should:
- Have accreditation from an organization such as the National Phlebotomy Association or the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Services.
- Have a didactic component that’s based on the Standards of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.
- Give students eligibility to take a national certification exam administered by one of the national phlebotomy organizations such as the American Medical Technologist and the American Credentialing Center.
Classes vary from school to school and the length of a program also varies. Many take two to twelve months to complete, and courses are found at community colleges, technical colleges, and vocational schools. Courses may include:
Anatomy and Physiology for Phlebotomists – Students receive a broad introduction to body parts.
Theory of Phlebotomy – Students learn how to draw blood using venipuncture and capillary puncture techniques for adults and children. They also learn how to perform fingersticks and heel sticks as well as non-blood collection practices and proper infection control.
Medical Terminology – This class gives students an overview of suffixes, prefixes, and root words used in the medical field.
Introduction to Disease – Designed to give students the fundamental aspects of the study of disease.
Practicum – This course provides students supervised hands-on training in a medical facility. Emphasis is placed on proper collection techniques, patient interaction, data management, and specimen handling.
The following are common program outcomes:
- Perform proper infection control techniques and safety measures that protect co-workers, patients, and the community.
- Demonstrate a solid understanding of the basic concepts of professional behavior, communications, stress management, patient interaction, and the legal implications of the work environment.
- Demonstrate correct techniques using the proper equipment to perform venipuncture and capillary puncture as well as maintain quality assurance during and after specimen acquisition.
- Apply knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of body systems and anatomic terminology in order to relate the major areas of the clinical lab to general pathologic conditions associated with the body systems.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
After graduation, you can start looking for a job immediately, unless you live in California, Louisiana, or Nevada. Phlebotomists in these states must first obtain certification. Phlebotomists work in emergency medical centers, hospitals, blood donor centers, and home healthcare agencies.
If you have any questions, please contact us for additional information.